On this day in 2003: Duff and Bridge become latest Chelsea arrivals

Cookies on Premierleague.com

The Premier League website employs cookies to improve your user experience. We have updated our cookie policy to reflect changes in the law on cookies and tracking technologies used on websites. If you continue on this website, you will be providing your consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.

Monday 21 July 2014

On this day in 2003: Duff and Bridge become latest Chelsea arrivals

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall Chelsea signing Damien Duff and Wayne Bridge

  • Damien Duff played a key role in Chelsea's 2004/05 Barclays Premier League title triumph

  • Wayne Bridge featured regularly in the 2003/04 campaign as the Blues finished second

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

21 July 2003 - Chelsea boost squad by signing Duff and Bridge

Chelsea made it four summer signings since Roman Abramovich took over the club when they signed Damien Duff and Wayne Bridge.

Republic of Ireland international winger Duff arrived from Blackburn Rovers while England left-back Bridge moved from Southampton in a swap deal with Graeme Le Saux. The double swoop followed summer arrivals of Glen Johnson and Geremi.

Duff admitted he had thought long and hard over the move and said: "It was a tough decision because I didn't really want to leave Blackburn.

"I just want to get playing football now. I've been down here three times in the last week and it feels right."

Bridge, who made 151 Barclays Premier League appearances for Saints after coming through Southampton's academy, said: "This is a big step up for me with the players Chelsea are looking to buy. They've got a good squad so hopefully I can add to that."

The duo each played a key part in helping the Blues finish second to Arsenal in their first season - the club's highest-ever finish in the Barclays Premier League.

Both players featured in Chelsea's run to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, with Bridge scoring a late winner against Arsenal in the quarter-final triumph over their London rivals.

The following season, Duff was switched to the right wing to accommodate new signing Arjen Robben and this new partnership helped Chelsea win the Barclays Premier League title for the first time.

Bridge missed the final three months of the season because of injury but had made enough appearances to receive a medal.

The Blues retained their title in the following 2005/06 campaign with Duff again prominent while Bridge struggled to hold down a first-team place.

Duff left Stamford Bridge in July 2006 to join Newcastle United, while Bridge remained with the club for another three seasons but moved to Manchester City after losing his place to fellow England international Ashley Cole.

Share this page

Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when Chelsea swooped for Damien Duff and Wayne Bridge